Global Tax Enforcement

Global Tax Enforcement

Commentary on Tax Enforcement, News and Developments

Category Archives: Tax Controversy

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“Unclean Hands” Prevent UBS and Birkenfeld from Recovering Damages from Olenicoff for Malicious Prosecution

Posted in Tax Controversy, UBS
On July 23, 2015, the Superior Court in Orange County, California, dismissed a lawsuit brought by UBS and joined by whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld against former UBS customer Igor Olenicoff. The suit alleged malicious prosecution arising from Olenicoff’s September 2008 suit against UBS in Los Angeles federal court, which in turn alleged that UBS, Birkenfeld, and… Continue Reading

Global Tax Enforcement in 2015: What You Need to Know

Posted in Global Tax Enforcement, Tax Controversy
Tax fraud occurs on a considerable scale that can exceed law enforcement’s ability to detect and punish the conduct. This is true at both the federal and state levels. As of 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) Tax Division give their global efforts priority over virtually every other… Continue Reading

Appeal of Tax Court Decision Focuses on Foreign Tax Credit, Tests Scope of U.S.-France Totalization Agreement

Posted in Tax Controversy, Tax Credit
Briefing is underway in an appeal by two taxpayers—a married couple with dual citizenship in the United States and France—of a U.S. Tax Court decision denying them foreign tax credits for money they contributed to social security payments to France.  (Eshel v. Commissioner, D.C. Cir., No. 14-01215). Ory and Linda Eshel worked and lived in… Continue Reading

Ex-Credit Suisse Bankers Sentenced to Probation in Exchange for Cooperation

Posted in Global Tax Enforcement, Tax Controversy
On March 27, 2015, a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced former Credit Suisse bankers Josef Doerig and Andreas Bachmann to five years of probation.  Their sentences were the result of their cooperation with the U.S. government’s global tax enforcement efforts.  Some outlets are reporting that they were key cooperators against Credit Suisse… Continue Reading

Update: Spanish Arm of Banca Privada d’Andorra Succumbs After FinCEN Action

Posted in FinCEN, Tax Controversy
On March 16, 2015, the Spanish subsidiary of Banca Privada d’Andorra, Banco de Madrid, sought bankruptcy protection in the midst of a run on the bank by depositors. The run and bankruptcy were the result of FinCEN’s March 10, 2015, announcement that it would bar U.S. banks from providing correspondent banking services to Banca Privada… Continue Reading

FinCEN Blacklists Banca Privada d’Andorra

Posted in FinCEN, Tax Controversy
On March 10, 2015, FinCEN designated Banca Privada d’Andorra, based in the Principality of Andorra, as a foreign financial institution of primary money-laundering concern pursuant to Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Section 311). FinCEN also issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under which U.S. banks would be prohibited from providing correspondent banking services to… Continue Reading

Bank Leumi Enters Into DPA with U.S. Department of Justice

Posted in Offshore, Tax Controversy
On December 22, 2014, the Department of Justice announced its agreement with Bank Leumi:  Bank Leumi Admits to Assisting U.S. Taxpayers in Hiding Assets in Offshore Bank Accounts  A major Israeli international bank admitted that it conspired to aid and assist U.S. taxpayers to prepare and present false tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service… Continue Reading

American Pleads Guilty to Hiding Money in Swiss Bank, Moving Money to Israeli Bank after UBS Scandal

Posted in Offshore, Swiss bank accounts, Tax Controversy
On August 19, 2014, Bernard Kramer pleaded guilty in the Southern District of New York to conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing a false income tax return relating to his concealment of “at least $1.1 million” in bank accounts in Switzerland and Israel. The criminal information did not identify the banks.  For 23… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Rules 23-Day Notice Requirement for Third Party Summonses is Mandatory in Tenth Circuit

Posted in Tax Controversy, Tax Evasion, Tax Fraud, Uncategorized
In Jewell v. U.S., Taxpayer Sam Jewell was the subject of an IRS investigation which resulted in third party summonses being issued to banks located in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma.  Mr. Jewell challenged both summonses because the IRS failed to provide him with notice of the summonses at least 23 days… Continue Reading

NPR Cites BakerHostetler Analysis of Tea Party Class Action Claims v. IRS

Posted in Tax Controversy
In an article discussing social media and the law, NPR refers to a recent Law360 Article written by Jennifer Benda and Casie Collignon of BakerHostetler discussing Tea Party Group’s lawsuit against the IRS, claiming that the IRS committed Privacy Act and constitutional rights violations by unfairly delaying and scrutinizing their and similar organizations’ filing for tax-exempt… Continue Reading

IRS Collecting More Revenue, Prosecuting More Criminal Cases

Posted in Tax Controversy, Tax Evasion, Tax Fraud, Uncategorized
The IRS has released Fiscal Year 2013 Enforcement statistics.  In FY 2013, IRS Enforcement collected more revenue than FY 2012, with fewer employees and while examining fewer returns than in FY 2012.  Collection activities, such as levies, liens and seizures all dropped significantly.  However, criminal investigations and prosecutions have risen. The IRS statistics can be… Continue Reading

Who will be home at the IRS if there is a Government Shutdown?

Posted in Tax Controversy
Treasury released its contingency plan to address a pending government shutdown.  So, who will be home at the IRS?  Here is what we know: IRS will: continue automated collections activities continue processing tax payment remittances continue taking actions to protect statutes of limitations, liens and seizures continue criminal examinations and undercover operations process electronic tax… Continue Reading

Tax Court Rules that IRS Too Aggressive in Applying Qualified Appraisal and Qualified Appraiser Standards

Posted in Tax Controversy
In Friedberg v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo 2011-238, the Tax Court granted summary judgment for the IRS, holding that an appraisal used to substantiate a facade easement donation amount was not a qualified appraisal because it determined that the appraiser, although purporting to employ comparable sales method for easement’s post-donation valuation, didn’t actually use that or… Continue Reading

Taxpayer Advocate Continues to Criticize Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs

Posted in FATCA, Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud, Voluntary Disclosure
In an update to her December 2012 report, the Taxpayer Advocate has noted that the IRS still has not provided reasonable options for “benign actors”, or taxpayers who inadvertently violated the rules for reporting foreign accounts.  The Taxpayer Advocate noted that the IRS revocation of pre-clearance letters had damaged IRS credibility and might lead to… Continue Reading

IRS and DOJ Losing Patience with Taxpayers with Undisclosed Foreign Accounts

Posted in HSBC, Tax Controversy, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
The assistant US attorney general for the Tax Division, Kathryn Keneally, recently indicated that the window for avoiding criminal prosecution related to undeclared foreign accounts may be closing soon.  At a roundtable discussion at the University of Southern California’s annual tax institute, Ms. Keneally indicated that waiting to disclose offshore accounts is extremely dangerous.  If… Continue Reading

GAO recommends IRS Step Up Enforcement Measures for Dentists, Doctors and Other Medical Services Providers Who Receive Medicaid Funds

Posted in Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud
In a report issued July 27, 2012, the GAO recommended that the IRS “explore opportunities to enhance collection of unpaid taxes from Medicaid providers, including the use of continuous levies.”  The GAO reviewed Medicaid reimbursement information from the three states which received the most Medicaid funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment  Act of 2009. … Continue Reading

IRS Issues Updated Guidance for 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

Posted in FATCA, HSBC, Tax Controversy, UBS, Voluntary Disclosure
On June 26, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released new FAQ’s on the current Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”) . The IRS opened the current OVDP on January 9, 2012, but, other than announcing the new FBAR penalty of 27.5%, had not issued updated guidance, leaving practitioners and taxpayers to rely on the 2011… Continue Reading

U.S. Treasury Releases Joint Statements with Switzerland and Japan Announcing Intent to Cooperate on FATCA Enforcement

Posted in FATCA, Tax Controversy
The U.S. Treasury released joint statements with Switzerland and Japan announcing their “mutual intent to pursue a framework for intergovernmental cooperation to facilitate the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).”  The Treasury has already released similar joint statements with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The Treasury pointed out that… Continue Reading

IRS Clarifies Form 8938 Reporting

Posted in Tax Controversy
The IRS has added nine new questions and answers addressing the filing requirements for Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets.  These new Q&A address a variety of issues including whether tangible assets such as art, antiques, jewelry, cars and other collectibles held in a foreign country must be reported on Form 8938 (Q&A 19)… Continue Reading

Colorado Court of Appeals Releases Significant Decision Affecting Colorado Conservation Easement Litigation

Posted in Tax Controversy
On March 15, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued its much anticipated decision in Kowalchik v. Brohl.  The Court determined that transferees who purchased conservation easement credits from donors of conservation easements were not required to be joined in the conservation easement litigation that has been brought pursuant to House Bill 1300.  This issue was… Continue Reading

New Foreign Asset Reporting Requirements for 2011 Returns

Posted in Tax Controversy, Tax Fraud
The HIRE Act of 2010 enacted Section 6038D which requires single taxpayers to report ownership of specified foreign financial assets which in aggregate exceed $50,000 on new Form 8938, which is filed with an individual’s Form 1040.  Various dollar thresholds apply to individuals who do not file single taxpayer returns.  Individuals required to file Form… Continue Reading